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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’

Netanyahu Promises 804 Homes for “Settlers’ – 3 Years after Previous Pledge

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Question: How can 300+300=300?

Answer: When the numbers refer to homes promised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Jews in Beit El, located in Samaria and north of Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister came out with a new math book by giving his approval for the “immediate” construction of 300 new homes for Jews in Beit El and 504 units in Jerusalem neighborhoods that the Obama administration and the United Nations considered illegal “occupied” by Israel.

These are the same residential unties that the Prime Minister three years ago promised would be built.

Next math question: How can 300+0=600?

Answer: When foreign media report that Israel has given the second approval for the same 300 homes.

Given the bureaucracy involved before the bulldozers get to work, come back in another three years and we’ll see how many times they have been approved, giving the impression that we are talking about 1,200 or even 2,400 homes and apartments for Beit El.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement on the same day the High Court ordered the demolition of a housing project under construction in Beit El is far from coincidental.

The right-wing is up in arms over the decision  that nullifies government approval, based on the argument that it was granted after the project began without permits.

There are plenty of precedents for approving  construction “after the fact,” but they usually don’t apply in Judea and Samaria, unless the homes are being built by Arabs.

The Palestinian Authority, as expected, condemned Netanyahu’s’ announcement, and the U.S. State Dept. will do the same, in more diplomatic terms, when it will be asked about the “new” project by reporters.

Israel never will get a fair shake in foreign media when it comes to building for Jews.

The French AFP news agency wrote as “facts” on Wednesday:

They [settlements] are seen as further complicating peace negotiations aimed at leading to an independent Palestinian state. Talks have been stalled since last year.

The two buildings being demolished in Beit El were reportedly on private Palestinian land that was seized by the army in the 1970s…

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and nearly 400,000 Jewish settlers currently live there.

The news agency should have just as “factually” reported that Palestinian Authority refusal to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state further complicates peace negotiations.

AFP also should have written that there is no proof that the two buildings that now have been demolished are on “private Palestinian land.”

And its statement that “Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War” is totally warped.

The Jordanian Foreign Legion fled Judea and Samaria like jackrabbits in the war, leaving the land in Israel’s hands.\

News agencies also could add in their reports Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria for 19 years, and  “occupation” is the correct word since there was no U.N. mandate for Jordan to take control of the entire region.

They could note that Jordan denied  Jews and Christians to holy sites in “East Jerusalem.”

They also could tell their readers that after 19 years of benign neglect by Jordan – and even worse neglect of Gaza by Egypt – the Arab economy and society flourished under the Israeli “occupation,” until the intifada wrecked everything.

But they won’t report any of that. They simply cannot do so because most foreign journalists work under the assumption that Israel is wrong, if for no other reason than the United States and the European Union say it is wrong.

Israeli Dentist Mends Peacekeeping Canine

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

“Dano” was wounded in action. The Multinational Force turned to a Hebrew University veterinarian.

A Hebrew University veterinarian has saved Dano, a 7-year-old Malinois (short-haired Belgian Shepherd Dog), whose military service includes two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where his responsibilities included explosives detection.

While serving in Afghanistan, Dano was wounded in action, fracturing his left upper canine tooth, known as fang to those who have been bitten.

The tooth was treated by a root canal therapy and filling, and Dano was re-assigned to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai, whose peacekeeping responsibilities received a mandate from Egypt and Israel to supervise the implementation of the military Annex to their 1979 Peace Treaty.

Several weeks ago, trouble struck again for Dano, who re-fractured his tooth while on duty. Suffering from an exposed nerve, Dano needed immediate attention, but the medical care he needed was not available at his camp.

The MFO recently established contact with the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), where students of the Hebrew University’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine receive their clinical training. It is the only hospital in Israel with modern facilities and equipment staffed by more than 45 veterinarians and a comprehensive range of internationally and nationally recognized specialists.

Along with a doctor, veterinarian and dog handler, Dano traveled from the Sinai Peninsula to the VTH and he met Dr. Yoav Bar-Am, the only board certified veterinary dentist and oral surgeon in Israel.

Dr. Bar-Am put the bite back in this K-9.

After Dano received general anesthesia, his dental radiographs and mouth were carefully evaluated. Dr. Bar-Am found that although Dano’s tooth had fractured and the filling was lost, the previous root canal remained intact. So Dr. Bar-Am re-shaped the contour of the tooth, smoothed the sharp edges of the fracture line, and prepared and placed a composite filling that matched the tooth’s natural color.

Dr. Bar-Am, who has operated on U.S. and Israeli working dogs in both the United States and Israel, said that “for a working dog, we attempt to do heroic things to save the tooth so they can continue to go about their jobs,”

Thanks to the treatment he received, Dano and his Peacekeeping team were able to go home the same day and return to full duty.

“This is the first time Dano has been medevac’d,” said Staff Sgt. John Breyer, military working dog handler who has been paired with Dano for four years. “The standard for these dogs is to have a high level of care.”

Obama Trying to Make US Leftist Jews “Mainstream’

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A recent meeting between National Security Council officials and the left-wing Breaking the Silence group barely made headlines but was a significant move in President Barack Obama’s agenda to justify his view that Israel is an “occupier.”

It was President Obama who succeeded in removing AIPAC as the default representative of what is called the “pro-Israel lobby” by opening the Oval Office to J Street, the left-wing group that thinks being “pro-Israel” means accommodating Hamas, expelling 600,000 Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and granting statehood Palestinian Authority inside Israel’s borders.

Calling itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and with generous funding from far-left billionaire George Soros, J Street’s launch in 2008 coincided with the campaign and election of President Obama.

Since then, Obama has shifted farther and farther to adopt the Palestinian Authority view of Israel as an occupier, and of Jews in settlements and even half of Jerusalem as “illegal” and “illegitimate.” Listening to leftist Jews telling him what he wants to hear has strengthened his belief that the “peace process” is the panacea for the Middle East.

Obama also has grabbed every opportunity to twist Judaism into his vision of a religion that can used to support his agenda, and he has plenty of support from Reform Jewish leaders to become a modern Korach, the Biblical figure who rebelled against Moses’ authority by claiming that the entire Jewish community is just as holy as he is.

The end of the story is that Korach and his 250 followers were swallowed up in the ground, which opened up to bury them alive, and that seems to be the same fate for President Obama’s foreign policy, especially when it comes to any place in the Middle East.

Instead of accepting reality, he is trying to hold on to an illusion. Breaking the Silence is a new pawn for President Obama to use in his chess game to check Israel, and particularly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Senior White officials welcomed Breaking the Silence, which was formed by a disgruntled Israeli-American soldier whose agenda is the same as Obama’s. Both of them have adopted the Palestinian Authority  term  “occupation” to describe the presence of approximately 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria and another quarter of a million or so in half a dozen Jerusalem neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of the residents are from the United States.

Reform Jewish leaders , who call themselves rabbis, do not represent Judaism, J Street does not represent the pro-Israel lobby, and Breaking the Silence does not represent the views of more than a tiny minority of Israelis.

But President Obama is playing magician to try to show that all three groups are the Jewish establishment.

The meeting  between White House officials with Breaking the Silence was the first ever and was held only days after the anti-IDF organization staged an anti-IDF exhibition  with the sponsorship of the Swiss government.

The President shrewdly made sure the meeting would not be held in the White House, making it easier for him to get smart and drop Breaking the Silence before it costs him support from the real mainstream Jewish community that knows the Israeli Defense Forces separate Israel from annihilation.

Haaretz reported that the meeting took place “at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.” A good guess – and it’s only as guess – would be that those offices belonged to J Street or perhaps more likely the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, whose president Matt Duss arranged the meeting.

The group’s website states:

The Foundation for Middle East Peace was created in 1979…to promote a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through education and advocacy…. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict….

In 1992, in view of the growing threat of Israeli settlements to peace, the Foundation introduced the bimonthly Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Breaking the Silence is trying to go mainstream. Obama’s “shared values” are more with the left-wing group than they are with the real mainstream in Israel and in the United States.

Obama Won’t Enforce Anti-BDS Provision Language in Trade Bill he just Signed

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

This week the United States officially put on notice its trade partners that it will not countenance boycotts or other economic warfare against Israel.

After signing the relevant trade legislation into law, however, the White House signaled to all its trade partners that they are still free to boycott goods made in the disputed territories, despite the clear language of the legislation the president signed.

This week the Trade Promotion Authority bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The TPA is primarily focused on international trade between the U.S. and Europe. It also included a section which addresses trade between the U.S. and Israel.

That part of the legislation, the U.S.-Israel Trade and Commercial Enhancement Act, bans boycotts and other means of economic warfare against Israel or the “Israeli-controlled territories.” This amendment, introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill-6) with bi-partisan co-sponsorship, was unanimously adopted into the PTA in April.

The passage of the TPA, including the anti-BDS section, should sound a death knell for the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) Movement. It should.

However, as pro-Israel Americans and Israelis learned only a few weeks ago in the Jerusalem passport case (Zivotofsky v. Kerry), there are certain spheres of international decision making over which the president has exclusive, or at least primary and controlling, control. Obama claims that international trade is one of those areas, even though Article 1, Section 8, clause 3, expressly gives Congress the power to regulate foreign commerce.

So even though the TPA is intended to act as a strong deterrent to European and other countries to pass and enforce boycotts of Israeli products, the White House has already signaled that it will not extend its protection to any goods produced in the disputed territories.

The anti boycott of Israel language in the TPA is: “actions by states, nonmember states of the United Nations, international organizations or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” [emphasis added.]

In a statement which Matt Lee of the Associated Press attributed to State Dept. spokesperson John Kirby, the administration made clear that despite signing the TPA, the position of the White House remains, as it has been, that the U.S. opposes boycotts of the State of Israel, but it also opposes the presence of Jews in the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

In the statement the administration argues that by “conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories’ a provision of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation runs counter to longstanding U.S. policy towards the occupied territories, including with regard to settlement activity,” and says that every U.S. administration has opposed “settlement activity.”

It goes on to point out that the “U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them.”

The U.S. administration announced that it will not jeopardize the holy grail of the two-state solution by enforcing the U.S. law as written and which its leader signed. In the statement it claims that “both parties have long recognized that settlement activity and efforts to change facts on the ground undermine the goal of a two-state solution to the conflict and only make it harder to negotiate a sustainable and equitable peace deal in good faith.” It is on this basis, ostensibly to promote a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, that this administration

Professor Eugene Kontorovich of the Northwestern University School of Law analyzes several other provisions of the U.S-Israel trade aspect of the TPA which have been largely overlooked. In particular, Kontorovich points out, U.S. courts cannot recognize or enforce the judgment of any foreign court “that doing business in or being based in the West Bank or Golan Heights violates international law or particular European rules.”

 

US Churches to Vote on BDS Moves Against Israel, Affecting Millions

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Three U.S. churches are voting on resolutions to divest from firms with connections to Israel and support a boycott of the Jewish State.

The votes on the pro-Palestinian Authority resolutions are taking place today (Tuesday, June 30) at the general convention of the Episcopal Church and the Cleveland synod of the United Church of Christ, both to be held in Salt Lake City.

On Wednesday, a similar resolution is to be considered at the meeting of the Mennonites in Kansas City, Missouri.

The three churches represent millions of members in the United States, but the votes taken this week may also affect decisions of churches elsewhere around the world as well.

A year ago, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA voted 310-303 to divest from US firms (Caterpillar, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard) which they complained profit from Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank. The vote affected some two million members.

An amendment to reinvest the funds in Israeli companies seeking “peaceful solutions” was also rejected. The previous day, the Church also rejected a proposal to send Church leaders to Israel to examine conditions for themselves and present their complaints in person to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Earlier in 2014, the United Methodist Church divested from G4S, a British-Danish firm providing security services to Israeli prisons in which Palestinian Authority terrorists are held.

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, however is actually a thinly-disguised new form of anti-Semitism that has been making its way around the United States for more than a decade.  On U.S. college campuses, it has led to violence against Jewish students as well.

The movement has been particularly effective in the United Kingdom.

A statement on the BDS website describes its campaign against the iconic British Marks & Spencer chain.

“Historically, Marks & Spencer has made statements in support of Zionism,” said a statement on the site. “Lord Sieff, chairman and founder of M&S who died in 2001, made several statements in support of Israel’s military policies. In 1941, Sieff said that “large sections of the Arab population of Palestine should be transplanted to Iraq and other Middle-Eastern Arab States.” (Jewish Chronicle, 21/09/1941) Sieff, in a book entitled On Management: The Marks and Spencer Way, wrote that one of the fundamental objectives of M&S was to ‘aid the economic development of Israel.’”

The statement on the site goes on to cite the history of the chain’s support for Israel – and the effectiveness of the BDS campaign in ceasing that support.

“In 2008, the store wrote: ‘We do not buy products from the West Bank, Golan Heights or Gaza as we cannot safely visit the suppliers in these areas because of the current security situation.” It seems probable that the move to cease selling settlement products was, in fact, due to effective campaigning, protests and fear of adverse press coverage.'”

As a matter of fact, on a recent visit to London, JewishPress.com was told explicitly by a store clerk at Marks & Spencer that the chain carries “no kosher items whatsoever,” be they Israeli or locally produced and supervised.

It appears that the BDS movement against Israel has been shamefully successful in extending its anti-Semitism even in a chain once was owned by a pro-Israel Jewish family.

Moreover, no local kosher supervision was found on products in any major supermarket chains, or even smaller stores (save for one) in most London neighborhoods other than the specifically Jewish areas of Stamford Hill or Golders Green.

The British government has decided it must legally allow a neo-Nazi group to hold an anti-Semitic march in Golders Green this upcoming Sabbath, July 4. The group, led by self-described fascist Joshua Bonehill, is vowing to burn an Israeli flag and a Jewish holy book at its rally in the heart of the Jewish neighborhood that day.

US Policy: Passports of Americans Born on Israeli Golan Heights List ‘Syria’

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The U.S. passport of an Americans born on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights must state the birthplace as Syria, according to U.S. State Department. policy.

The JewishPress.com raised several questions with the U.S. Embassy following the recent Supreme Court ruling that ruled against Congress being able to overturn Executive Branch policy concerning the stated birthplace of an American born in Jerusalem.

The policy was and continues to be that the birthplace on the passport is “Jerusalem,” without a country, regardless of whether he was born in “West” Jerusalem or in the rest of the city that was reunited in the war.

But what would happen if there were a hospital on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and an American birth were registered there?

It may not even be a theoretical question in the near future. The NRG website reported last week that Druze in the Israeli side of the Golan Heights want to establish and maintain a hospital to treat their brethren wounded on the Syrian side of the border.

Regardless, this is American policy, updated in 2008 and stated under the bureaucratic section “M 1360 APPENDIX D  BIRTH IN ISRAEL, JERUSALEM, AND ISRAELI-OCCUPIED AREAS

(CT:CON-254)”:

  1. Background. As a result of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the Government of Israel currently occupies and administers the Golan Heights, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. U.S. policy recognizes that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory [bold-face added} and that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.

  1. Birth in the Golan Heights: The birthplace that should appear on passports whose bearers were born in the Golan Heights is SYRIA [capital letters appear in the original text].

Perhaps the State Department is not aware of it, but there are questions whether Syria even exists today. There is a “Syrian government” that controls a shrinking part of the country.

The Islamic State (ISIS) controls a good portion of Syria. Rebels control a healthy (or unhealthy) part. Al Qaeda also has claims.

But for now, Syria is Syria, including the Golan Heights, even if Israel annexed the strategic area 34 years ago, and even if half the population of the Golan Heights is Jewish.

Policy is policy, and if an American wants to test the unreal reality, it is only a matter of time before there really will be a need for a hospital there. By that time, perhaps Syria not longer will exist.  Since Foggy Bottom cannot possibly come up with the conclusion that the Golan Heights is in Israel, it would have to accept facts on the ground across the border. Perhaps an American born will see his passport stating, “Golan Heights, Islamic State.”

Who knows? Anything is possible with the State Department, anything except Jerusalem being recognized as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights being considered part of the Jewish country.

The State Department regulations offer some other fascinating tidbits.

What if you were an American born before 1948, before Israel became an independent country, but in parts of Jerusalem that were only reunited in 1967? For example, let’s say you were an American born in 1947 in the Old City, which at that time was the home of Misgav Ladach Hospital.

Guess what would be written on the passport?

The policy states:

For persons born before May 14, 1948 in a location that was outside Jerusalem’s municipal limits and later was annexed by the city, enter either PALESTINE or the name of the location (area/city) as it was known prior to annexation.

“Palestine” was what all of the British Mandate was called, but the Palestinian Authority has adopted the name, which is on many of its official documents and which its schools teach means all of the Land of Israel. “All” means “all,” including Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Eilat.

There is a lesson here about the formulation of American policy. Once it is established, it is written in stone, and even a Congressional act cannot change it. This is what was learned from the Supreme Court decision that said that the Congressional Act in 1998 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not mean that the State Department has to agree to it.

The State Department formulated its policy long ago that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria. No negotiations, No compromise. No nothing. It is Syria, period, and if tomorrow it is the Islamic State, we’ll see.

The other side of the policy is that Judea, Gaza, Samaria and “eastern, southern and northern” Jerusalem “are territories whose final status must be determined by negotiations.”

The folks at the State Department cannot be that stupid to realize that there will be no negotiations. It must know there is no one with whom to negotiate. It must know that in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, there is nothing to negotiate except what color ink Israel uses to sign over the store, while the Palestinian Authority uses invisible ink.

Now we know why the Obama administration is so stubbornly fixed on the “peace process.’ It knows it has no chance, but policy is policy.

The State Department stated ages ago that the final status of the “territories” will be decided by negotiations, and that’s that. The world may change, but policy is a different story, especially if a change might help Israel.

The State Department decided way back when that the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, and that is why an American born there would have a passport stating “Golan Heights, Syria.”

And what if an American were born in the State Department? Is that part of the United States or is it territory occupied by policy-makers who cannot see past yesterday?

Live Meerkat Stream Tonight from Jerusalem @Israel_Shield

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

@Israel_Shield will be talking about the “Solution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict” from the Old City of Jerusalem. To join the live Meerkat stream, go here: https://meerkatapp.co/israel_shield/sch-47236156-2431-4bd6-a2e5-2148263021c3

The live stream will be at Midnight, Israel time.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/israel-shield/live-meerkat-stream-tonight-from-jerusalem/2015/06/18/

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